Revelations that the rental crisis on the Sunshine Coast was being driven by an annual shortage of as many as 2,000 homes annually has sparked calls for greater action from the State Government.
Shadow Treasurer David Janetzki and Shadow Finance Minister Fiona Simpson, on the Sunshine Coast after last week’s State Budget, said the crisis with vacancy rates as low as 0.4% was due to a supply shortage not just an increase in demand.
They said it was a mistake to simply blame the shortage on the recent spike in demand due to COVID and interstate migration when the lack of housing supply had been brewing for nearly 10 years.
But, they said the fact the State Government cannot clearly advise what the size of the shortage of new homes is in each region per year compared to demand was a large part of the problem to fixing the crisis.
Mr Janetzki said: “The State Budget fails to address one of the biggest crises everyday people are facing at the moment, being unable to access rental properties and put a roof over their family’s head. This is an economic challenge as it’s stopping workers moving into the area. Together with the blowout in the social housing waitlist from 1,000 to 2,800 in the last 5 years there are significant issues facing the housing market.”
Ms Simpson said: “The supply system is broken. To fix the problem and safely put people into housing, you need to be honest about the size of the issue and the reasons why new housing supply compared to population growth has been falling for some time.
“You can still protect lifestyle and the environment with good planning – it just shouldn’t take 10 years. The answer isn’t about putting up high-rises on every street corner but the right density in the right areas and better integration with local communities.
“Good planning needs greater transparency and accurate data, timely infrastructure investment and reliable decision making to attract investment to build new rental housing.”
The State Government’s “Build to Rent” policies fell well short of addressing the size of demand as they didn’t address systemic barriers across Queensland to timely housing supply.
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